Carmelo Anthony gives LaMelo Ball blessing on ‘Melo’ nickname, 3 to the dome celebration
Charlotte Hornets point guard LaMelo Ball finally matched up against the OG “Melo” of the league in Carmelo Anthony when both of their squads faced off on Monday night. The 19-year-old playmaker made a statement performance against the Portland Trail Blazers, which helped him earn the respect of Anthony.
After they swapped jerseys on the court after the game, the veteran forward then blessed the rookie with the right to use his nickname and even his famed 3 to the dome celebration, per Sean Highkin of Bleacher Report.
Carmelo Anthony on LaMelo Ball also being called Melo: "LaMelo is going to be in the league for a long time so you might as well use it. For me, it's an honor."
On LaMelo doing the 3 to the dome: "I embrace it. I blessed him. He can do it."
And so it is, from the man himself.
— Sean Highkin (@highkin) March 2, 2021
On the floor, Ball showed out and starred for his team with 30 points, six rebounds, and eight assists against the Blazers. Anthony himself enjoyed a throwback performance with 29 points of his own, splashing in 10 shots in total and six 3-pointers.
Anthony helped lift the Blazers to a 123-111 victory over Charlotte, with Damian Lillard also providing 23 points in support. The victory was a much-needed one for the Blazers because it snapped a four-game losing skid, thus improving to 19-14 for the fifth spot in the Western Conference.
Midway through the 2020-21 season, Ball is continuing to turn heads as he progresses through a stellar rookie campaign. He is currently leading the ongoing race for Rookie of the Year with averages of 15.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 6.4 assists through 34 contests.
Getting approval from a highly celebrated player like Carmelo Anthony will certainly serve as a confidence booster for LaMelo Ball moving forward. Hopefully, his individual performances will be able to make a bigger impact on the success of his squad as they continue to vie for a playoff spot this season. The Hornets are 16-18 on the season, which is good for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference, and the rookie has helped make them relevant again.